How to Increase Restaurant Guest Count Now by Leveraging Current Conditions

How much better would you feel with the first of a series of 5% revenue increases? 

Well, it wouldn’t take all that much in a $4MM restaurant with a $30 PPA. 

Three or four tables at lunch and the same at dinner would do it.

That’s 18 guests a day.

I can’t make revenue increases any plainer (it’s simple math) – but each of your restaurants has an equivalent calculation.

So, instead of reading (and regretting) the business section’s latest news about consumer spending, inflation, and interest rates, why not take action to find those extra guests?

How Retention Rate Connects to Increased Revenue

The quit rate? Down.

Wage rate? Stabilized.

Turnover? Reduced.

All the data shows that, when employees and managers stay with you longer, guests have better experiences. 

Use these facts to fortify and raise your guest count and reclaim more than your fair share of market segment.

In a world where increasing guest count remains imperative, what action will you take now to capitalize on all this knowledge?  

Matthew’s 3 Tests Dictate Action 

Test 1: Can you verify that your retention rate has improved? 

If so, you have something to work with and can jump to Test 2.  

If not, your priority is to ensure people want to keep working at your restaurants and for your leaders. 

Go back and examine culture – how you treat people and whether they feel part of something – along with pay and benefits.

Test 2: Have you increased education and used culture and appreciation to bond with the people who work in your restaurants?

If you answer an enthusiastic and confident “Yes!” you really support what it takes to increase guest count. Jump to Test 3.

If not, start work intentionally to raise loyal people up so they feel important and newly knowledgeable. Your restaurants improve. 

Test 3: Does guest experience inspire increased frequency of visits to your dining room and help you outpace the competition?

If you do, set goals for increasing guest count. They can be small at first.

Break down a 5% increase to number of guests per day, or tables per day, and – all of a sudden – what had seemed insurmountable (increasing revenue by 5% in today’s market) becomes understandable and achievable. 

If not, focus on increasing standards and people before you expect a revenue increase.  Apply energy into making sure new and returning guests enter a dining room that makes you feel proud. 

Over to you. Do the math. How many more guests will it take for you to turn around your negative or mediocre feelings about today’s sales trend? What will you do to attract them?


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